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Recent Home Theater Editorials

The Long Overdue Death of Retail Compact Disc (CD)

The Long Overdue Death of Retail Compact Disc (CD)

Memorializing the Compact Disc. Once upon a time, the CD was the ubiquitous music platform. Our story outlines how the disc-based music technology was adopted, loved and eventually abandoned by a generation that arrived a little too late to collect vinyl record albums. In its day, the CD weathered a storm of competitors that sought to usurp the audio throne by offering key improvements in storage capacity and audio resolution. But behind the inevitable fall of the CD is a story of how the music industry refused to read the writing on the wall. Now that the once dominant audio platform's days are behind us the question remains: Did you like CDs?

Memorializing the Compact Disc. Once upon a time, the CD was the ubiquitous music platform. Our story outlines how the disc-based music technology was adopted, loved and eventually abandoned.

Brandon Dimmel — February 23, 2018 00:00 in Editorials

The Biggest Failures in Consumer Audio/Video Electronics History

The Biggest Failures in Consumer Audio/Video Electronics History

While we all enjoy the latest technologies afforded to us in consumer electronics, early adopters often pay the price by getting behind new formats that dry up as quickly as the cash they sunk into them. Let's take a look at what we feel to be the biggest product failures in consumer A/V electronics and try to figure out what went wrong and how missteps today may lead to success stories tomorrow. Some of these are well-known and familiar to everyone; while others are less well-known but their failure was no less spectacular.

We take a take a look at what we feel to be the biggest product failures in consumer A/V electronics and try to figure out what went wrong and how missteps today may lead to success stories tomorrow.

, — January 30, 2018 00:00 in Editorials

Disney Expands Media Empire with 21st Century Fox

Disney Expands Media Empire with 21st Century Fox

With Disney soon to own a majority of Fox TV and film Studios, the stars may have just aligned for the creation of the most powerful media conglomerate ever created. We also have plenty of possible new story lines to look forward to. Will mutants join the Marvel cinematic universe? What will the future of Hulu and Disney direct-to-consumer look like? And most importantly, how will the Simpsons deal with being employees of the House of Mickey Mouse? These are sure to be interesting times for comic nerds and cord-cutters alike.

With Disney soon to own a majority of Fox TV and film Studios, the stars may have just aligned for the creation of the most powerful media conglomerate ever created. What changes will this bring?

— January 02, 2018 00:00 in Editorials

Title II is Not the Net Neutrality You’re Looking For

Title II is Not the Net Neutrality You’re Looking For

The end is nigh for net neutrality as it exists today. Trump-appointed FCC chief Ajit Pai put forth a plan last week that promises to roll back Obama’s net neutrality policies. All that’s left is for the five FCC commissioners to vote in December, making the rollback a virtual certainty. But, will the principles of net neutrality die with the FCC? Considering Obama's net neutrality was built on laws designed for a depression-era phone company, perhaps the door is open for modern law that govern the Internet.

The end is nigh for net neutrality as it exists today. Trump-appointed FCC chief Ajit Pai put forth a plan last week that promises to roll back Obama’s net neutrality policies. What's to come of this?

— December 02, 2017 00:00 in Editorials

Star Wars Battlefront II: EA Embraces the Dark Side of Gaming

Star Wars Battlefront II: EA Embraces the Dark Side of Gaming

The economics of videogames is serious business. Budgets for high-profile games routinely outclass those of blockbuster movies, not to mention the GDP of small independent nations. But, did EA take a step too far in trying to wring even greater profits from games through overuse of microtransacations? The gaming community seems to think so, never has the backlash against a videogame been so great as what we saw last week during the launch of EA's Star Wars Battlefront II. Is it fair to reward advantages to players that pay?

Star Wars Battlefront II has been lighting up the gaming community with bad press around what gamers are decrying as a corrupt in-game economy that gives unfair advantages to players that pay.

— November 20, 2017 14:00 in Editorials

Denon, Marantz Receivers Get DTS Virtual:X Firmware Update

Denon, Marantz Receivers Get DTS Virtual:X Firmware Update

Sound United and DTS have announced the availability of an important DTS Virtual:X firmware update for many Denon and Marantz A/V receiver models. Even more models are getting the update over the next couple of months. DTS says its Virtual:X technology can bring increased levels of immersion to your surround sound system whether you're using your receiver for stereo, 5.1 or 7.1.4. Check to see your receiver is on the list getting update right away.

Sound United and DTS have announced the availability of a DTS Virtual:X firmware update for many Denon and Marantz A/V receiver to expand your immersive audio experience without needing more speakers.

— November 17, 2017 16:00 in Editorials

Why DTS Headphone: X Isn’t Ready For Fans of Surround Hi-Fi

Why DTS Headphone: X Isn’t Ready For Fans of Surround Hi-Fi

It's been a few years since the official unveiling of DTS Headphone: X, a new technology that promises to change how we listen to music, movies, and television using our favorite headphones. Now, that technology is finally starting to roll out, with the most recent introduction of the Nubia Z17S Android smartphone, initial reviews are mostly underwhelmed. With a limited and expensive music library thus far, will DTS Headphone: X make waves in hi-fi, or is it destined to remain just another smartphone app?

DTS Headphone:X is a new technology that promises to change how we listen to music, movies, and television using our favorite headphones. Have initial reviews come up short of expectations? Read on.

— November 10, 2017 12:00 in Editorials

Auro-3D Listening Evaluation on a Denon AVR-X7200WA

Auro-3D Listening Evaluation on a Denon AVR-X7200WA

You might not know it but Auro-3D is the granddaddy of immersive audio. Armed with Denon's AVR-X7200WA receiver, we took a good hard look at Auro-3D's technology, how to take advantage of it at home, and how it performed in a real-world setup. We give you our candid thoughts about what makes Auro-3D special among competing immersive formats and some of the downsides that come with trying to run parallel Auro-3D, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X immersive surround speaker installations.

Immersive audio isn't just Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. We demoed Auro-3D and looked at the technology, how to take advantage of it at home, and how it performed in a real-world setup with listening tests.

— November 01, 2017 00:00 in Editorials

Is the Netflix Empire Built on a House of Cards?

Is the Netflix Empire Built on a House of Cards?

The company that started life as a subscription DVD rentals has built an entertainment empire on award winning but expensive original content on a bleeding-edge streaming service. Earnings statements for Netflix have been rosy as revenue and subscribers grow at an incredible pace. But how much longer can Netflix continue to grow at its present rate? With high powered competitors like Amazon, Apple and Google moving into its market, some analysts think it may only be short lived.

From a Q3 2017 earnings report, Netflix is at an all-time high in almost any meaningful measure. The online entertainment service has over 109 million subscribers worldwide but can it be maintained?

— October 21, 2017 00:00 in Editorials

Star Trek Discovery - Stranded in Compressed, Two-Channel Subscription Space

Star Trek Discovery - Stranded in Compressed, Two-Channel Subscription Space

CBS has done it again, they’re treating Star Trek fans like a Gorn warrior treats Captain Kirk on Cestus III. CBS/Paramount are exploiting fan’s dedication to their favorite TV franchise by holding the new series hostage behind its video-streaming subscription service, CBS All Access. Will die-hard fans be willing to pay for this service to see their beloved Star Trek on TV again? Read on to see our thoughts why we remain skeptical.

The premiere of Star Trek Discovery aired on the CBS network on 9/24/17 and was enjoyed by anyone who could get over-air reception. But episode one was a teaser to make you pay for CBS All Access.

— October 04, 2017 17:00 in Editorials

Walter Becker & Steely Dan: Engineering the Passion Behind the Sound

Walter Becker & Steely Dan: Engineering the Passion Behind the Sound

On September 3rd, 2017, the world lost another musical legend - Walter Becker, one half of the duo named Steely Dan. Becker was the kind of misanthrope that would roll his eyes at yet another gushing tribute to his genius. So, I’ll spare you the sentimental fawning and just cut straight to why I think the life and career of Walter Becker mattered to music.

On September 3rd, 2017, the world lost another musical legend - Walter Becker, one half of the duo that named themselves after a metallic sex toy from a William S. Burroughs novel; Steely Dan.

— October 02, 2017 00:00 in Editorials

What Goes into Naming a Consumer Product?

What Goes into Naming a Consumer Product?

Ever wonder how companies come up with the names for their products? Why is it the Revelator and not the 100x? How important is the name? Does the name really affect the sales and market acceptance of a product one way or the other? People have wildly differing views on the topic, based on their own experiences and their perception of their own expertise. Read on to find out more.

Ever wonder how companies come up with the names for their products? Can a name really affect sales and product perception? Can a clever name rescue a bad product? Read on to find out.

— August 14, 2017 12:00 in Editorials

Push vs. Pull Marketing in Hi-Fi Audio

Push vs. Pull Marketing in Hi-Fi Audio

Ever wonder about the different marketing strategies behind the way various consumer electronics companies present their products? Some are boutique brands, available only at prestigious, appointment-only retailers. Some are very widely distributed, at Walmart, Best Buy, everywhere. Some are direct online sales only. It's all very intentional. Here's a peek behind the curtain on how these business models target their consumers.

This article presents the different marketing strategies behind the way various consumer electronics companies present their products. It's all very intentional. Here's a peek behind the curtain.

— July 14, 2017 00:00 in Editorials

T.H.E. Home Entertainment Show To Take Center Stage in Anaheim

T.H.E. Home Entertainment Show To Take Center Stage in Anaheim

T.H.E. Show Anaheim is set to take place September 21-24, 2017 in a brand new location—The Hilton Anaheim, steps away from Disneyland. For music lovers and Audiophiles of all levels, T.H.E. Show Anaheim will be Southern California’s largest high-end consumer electronics Show ever offering attendees an opportunity to see and hear the latest in loudspeakers, audio components, home theater, video, HDTV, digital music, vinyl recordings, headphones, virtual reality, educational seminars and more. You won't want to miss this so register NOW!

T.H.E. Show Anaheim is set to take place September 21-24,2017 to demo new loudspeakers, audio components, home theater, HDTV, vinyl, headphones, virtual reality, & educational seminars. Register now!

— July 12, 2017 00:23 in Editorials